A. Most of all, the chimps! I have a lifelong passion for chimpanzees that began when I had the opportunity to work with Jane Goodall at Gombe in East Africa in the mid-1970s. That experience instilled in me a genuine fascination with and deep respect for these magnificent beings. And it impressed upon me the importance of not just preserving and protecting the species, but of the critical need to advocate for and actively promote the well-being of chimpanzees everywhere.
Q. What were you doing before you came to Save the Chimps?
A. Much of my career has been devoted to the leadership of nonprofit organizations. Since 2002, I’ve served as the Executive Director of the Center for Excellence in Nonprofits with a goal of helping strengthen nonprofit organizations so that they can more effectively fulfill their missions. I’m looking forward to putting that experience to work at Save the Chimps and to furthering a cause that I am personally very passionate about.
Q. What has been your biggest challenge since joining Save the Chimps?
A. The Sanctuary is a complex place with a multitude of activities taking place every day to provide for the ongoing care of our resident chimpanzees. It will take time, but I am committed to personally getting to know each of the nearly 60 staff members, the more than 80 volunteers, and also the 255 chimpanzees in residence at Save the Chimps.
Q. What has impressed you most about Save the Chimps?
A. There are many aspects of Save the Chimps that are not only impressive but, frankly, also awe-inspiring. The facility itself reflects creative genius with the design of 12 island habitats where chimpanzees can live freely in communities. And the care staff is incomparable and unwavering in their dedication and commitment to the wellbeing of our chimpanzees. But what is truly awe-inspiring are the chimps themselves. Their resilience, despite the hardships they have endured, and their spirit and sheer joy of life is a very powerful lesson for all of us to experience.
Q. What would you want to say to supporters of Save the Chimps?
A. First and foremost, a heartfelt thank you. Save the Chimps would not be possible without the support of our volunteers and financial donors. Knowing that tens of thousands of caring people across the country believe in our cause and are actively supporting our efforts is both heartwarming and humbling. They entrust us to manage their donations wisely and to provide the best care possible for our chimpanzees. Those are responsibilities that we take very seriously at Save the Chimps. Finally, hearing from those who share our passion and generously support our mission is invaluable. I want our volunteers and supporters to know that their voices and opinions are always welcome.